NEW YORK, Jan. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Association for a Better Long Island (ABLI), representing many of the major energy users in the bi-county region, is calling for a study that would allow the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) to declare bankruptcy and renegotiate its crushing debt, a legacy of the Shoreham atomic energy plant closed in 1989 without ever producing a single watt of commercial power. ABLI's Executive Director Desmond Ryan stated, "Preventing LIPA from creating a system that can respond to severe weather is the combined $17 billion burden of Shoreham debt and debt service created from shutting down that nuclear power plant a generation ago. It doesn't matter if you privatize LIPA or dismiss all its current executives. That financial obligation will continue to distort the region's economy for generations to come unless we address it now and bankruptcy is a viable path." ABLI executive board member and former LIPA Board member Vincent Polimeni called for the utility authority to declare bankrupt years ago. "We are all realists and we recognize that a Chapter 11 plan faces tough going. We also know the State of New York will be aghast at the prospect, but bankruptcy isn't a `get out of jail free card.' LIPA would still have debt obligations, but the process would compel a restructuring of how and who gets paid under the supervision of a judge." Ryan reminded, "The size of that debt unravels any plans you have to storm proof the electrical system or install a better communications system with your consumer. Then add the fact that you have obsolete and unused electrical generating stations paying millions in property taxes that the ratepayer is responsible for and you have one perfect storm."